News Archive 2013

Egemin opens new production and test centre for AGVs Handling Automation
Egemin has opened a brand new production and test centre for AGVs, called the E'gv® Factory. Here, we are going to build and test our automated guided vehicles before delivering them to customers all over the world. The capacity of the new production and test centre is more than three times the capacity of the area it replaces and is therefore able to meet rapidly growing sales. Egemin has invested over 100,000 euros in the new centre.

Every E’gv® - as we call our AGVs - leaving Egemin is submitted to one hundred hours of test trials before being deployed to the customer. It has emerged from general statistical research that 85% of all failures manifest themselves within the first 100 hours of production. As Egemin is producing increasing numbers of AGVs and the range is being expanded, it was clear that the existing production and testing area was simply too small. From now on, up to nine vehicles can be tested simultaneously in the new testing hall that covers an area of 2,200 m².

Powerful simulation

The testing hall at the E’gv® Factory has been designed so that it can closely simulate the operational environment of the customer. It includes a station where AGVs can automatically exchange their own batteries. The hall also contains racking systems to allow the E’gv®s to simulate storage of pallets on very high rack shelving. It includes a slope and loading bays, which are important for testing the ATL (automatic trailer loading) function. Previously, this had to be done on the customer's own premises. Last but not least, Egemin has also created space for stocking certain products for when a specific customer orders new E’gv®s. If, for example, a customer works with exceptionally large rolls of paper or uses special storage cages, Egemin will use those  during the simulation tests. Space used to be a limiting factor when carrying out simultaneous testing on different types of systems.

“Because our test room is much bigger now, we can simulate the actual conditions existing on the customer's premises more easily. This has resulted in shorter start-up times, even higher quality and improved efficiency," according to Gunter Van Deun, Product Manager E'gv® Systems at Egemin.

200 vehicles per year

The new E’gv® Factory has potential for even further growth and will be able to test around 200 E’gv®s every year. The testing hall is located near the production hall where Egemin installs the cabling and switch boxes onto the chassis that have been delivered. The production and test centre in Antwerp delivers AGV systems around the world, with the exception of the USA. US customers are looked after by Egemin's local branch in Michigan.

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